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Funeral for missing OAP found dead in River Bann

By Nevin Farrell

The funeral has taken place of an 87-year-old Aghadowey man whose body was discovered in the River Bann at the weekend.

Hugh Crowe, of Curragh Road, was reported missing on January 9.

Searches were carried out on a daily basis using sniffer dogs and boats on the Bann, which runs a short distance from where the great-grandfather lived.

His remains were recovered near Agivey Bridge on Sunday.

Family and friends gathered yesterday at Kilrea Baptist Church for a service of thanksgiving for the life of Mr Crowe led by Pastor Philip Cameron.

Mr Crowe was husband to Sadie and father of David, Marshall and Sarah, as well as a grandfather and great-grandfather.

Mr Crowe's family asked for donations in lieu of flowers, if desired, to be made to the Community Rescue Service.

The charity had searched for Mr Crowe every day since his disappearance.

On Sunday it said: "Water levels had decreased significantly over the past few days and following a report by a local kayaker, the CRS recovered a body believed to be that of the missing person. The management and volunteers of the Community Rescue Service extend their deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the deceased".

A family friend said yesterday: "It is heartbreaking what happened to Hugh.

"He grew up in Coleraine and then moved out to Aghadowey and was well-known and popular. He was always a very jolly man."

Tributes were paid to him on social media, with one woman saying he used to go into her workplace and was "such a kind, lovely man".

Police had launched a public appeal for information on January 9 when they said the pensioner had gone missing and they were "extremely concerned" for his welfare.

On Sunday the PSNI said: "Sadly, earlier today the remains of Mr Hugh Crowe were recovered from the River Bann near Agivey Bridge.

"His family have been informed and they wish to pass on their thanks to everybody who assisted with the search for Hugh."

Police said they were not treating Mr Crowe's death as suspicious.

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